Fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose has been hiding a secret. Her mother, a talented artist and art teacher, is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker ever since Aura's dad left them. Convinced that "creative" equals crazy, Aura shuns her own artistic talent. But as her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet draws Aura toward the depths of her imagination.My thoughts:
Just as desperation threatens to swallow her whole, Aura discovers that art, love, and family are profoundly linked—and together may offer an escape from her fears.
My only previous experience with reading about mental illness comes from sneaking away with my dads old Stephen King novels as a teenager (which by the way is a perfect recipe for nightmares), so I did not really know what to expect from A Blue So Dark.
What I got was one of the best written books I have read in a long time. The topic of mental illness is something that's not seen a lot, especially not in young adult novels, but Schindler handles it perfectly. Even in between all the darkness, the crazy, the anger, fear and frustrations, there's still light, hope and love. What took this novel from good to great for me is that I felt every one of these emotions while reading. There were times when I could barely turn the page because I was afraid of what would come next, and I was constantly crossing my fingers for someone to open their eyes and see what Aura was going through and offer some help. This is an amazing debut novel from Holly Schneider, and I can't wait to pick up her second novel Playing Hurt next.
The cover is what made me pick up this book from the library in the first place, and I still love it.
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A Blue So Dark by Holly Schneider
Published: May 1 2010
Pages (paperback): 277
ISBN: 0738719269 (ISBN13: 9780738719269)
Full disclosure: Checked out at my local library